Battleship Marine-A Combat History of the USS Wisconsin in Desert Storm

Battleship Marine recounts the decisive role the USS Wisconsin, a World War Two era battleship, played during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Written by the Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment it is a first hand account of the of the ships combat operations during the 1st Persian Gulf War. More

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About Kent S Ralston

Kent S. Ralston
LtCol USMC (Ret)

Kent Ralston was born on July 4, 1962 in Clearwater, Florida. He joined the Marine Corps in April 1981. After graduating from Boot Camp at Parris Island, South Carolina he was assigned to the LVT Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division in Tampa, Florida. He was accepted into the Platoon Leaders Class in March 1986 after attaining the rank of Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve.
He attended the University of South Florida, from which he received a Bachelors Degree in History in 1987. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in July 1987. Upon completion of The Basic School he attended the Amphibian Officer Course and was subsequently assigned as a platoon commander with the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2d Marine Division.
From December 1988 to December 1989 he was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2/8, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit as the AAV Platoon Commander.
During July 1990 he reported to the Marine Detachment USS Wisconsin (BB-64) as the Executive Officer. In August 1990 the Wisconsin deployed to the Persian Gulf and took part in combat actions against Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. In July 1991, after the decommissioning of the Marine Detachment, he was reassigned to the Marine Corps Security Force Training Company, Marine Corps Security Force Battalion (LANT) as the OIC for the Physical Security /Tactics Section.
He was promoted to Captain in November 1991. From June 1993 to December 1993 he attended the Armor Officer Advance Course, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
In December 1993, he received orders to report to the 1st Marine Division where he served as the Company Commander of Company A, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division. During May 1995 Company A deployed to Okinawa as part of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) and was assigned to Combat Assault Battalion (CAB), 3rd Marine Division.
Upon the Company’s return to the United States, in November 1995, he was reassigned to the Assault Amphibian School Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California as the Battalion Executive Officer. In July 1997 he was promoted to the rank of Major.
From July 1998 to July 2002 he was assigned as the Inspector-Instructor, Company B (-), 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Jacksonville, Florida. From July 2002-July 2004 he was assigned as the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle Operational (EFV) Test Director, Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity (MCOTEA). He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on January 1, 2003. During July of 2004 he was transferred to Marine Corps Logistics Command as the Current Operations Officer.
His last Marine Corps assignment was as the Inspector-Instructor, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division, and began in Jul 2005. During this time he was also Commander Task Force AAVs, MARFOR Gulf Coast, JTF KATRINA during rescue and recovery operations in the wake of Hurricane KATRINA.
He retired in 2009. He has been married to his wife Nancy for over 30 years and has three children- Jennifer, Ashley and Jeb. He resides in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida.

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